Bibliofaction short story website needs a new home

Free to a good home
Free to a good home

Would you like to run

Despite our best efforts, Andrew and I are no longer finding the time to properly look after the Bibliofaction website and community. So it’s time to find someone new to take care of it.

It’s going free to a good home (though it has some costs involved and would benefit from some technical work).

We’d like the website to be run by someone who supports the original goals of the site – to encourage everyone to have a go at writing a short story. It should be a welcoming, inclusive and inspiring place – but we won’t have ongoing involvement in the site, so really it’s your call!

Here are some top-level facts that might be useful to you:

  • 3,500+ published stories
  • ~10,000 visits per month (it was a bit higher when we were actively running competitions etc) – see stats screenshot below.
  • The Bibliobucks virtual currency system doesn’t make us any money (but did a good job encouraging conversations when it was launched)

Beyond that, have a look around the site to see how it works. If you can’t spare the time to look at the site now, you won’t have the time to run the site in the long run. I say this from experience.

Technical bits:

  • The website is a bespoke platform, developed in ASP.NET, in C# with a MSSQL database.
  • It was written for ASP.NET 2.0
  • It’s a 3-tier application (Website, BLC, DALC) so has a pretty solid code structure
  • It was best-of-breed in 2007 – you wouldn’t write it quite like this today, but it won’t cause a new developer too much panic to look at it now.

What’s included:

  1. Transferring ownership of current Easyspace VPS hosting to you (including billing)
  2. All source-code and database files
  3. Google Analytics account including 7+ years of historic stats
  4. The domain name – it’s an old domain name now, so good for search engines
  5. Social media accounts (@bibliofaction, Facebook, G+)
  6. Any artwork files I have (logos, PSDs etc)
  7. Transfer of any copyright (logo, brand, code etc)

What’s not included:

  • Tech support. I wish I had time to spend on this, but if I did, we wouldn’t be looking for a new owner. You will need access to the appropriate development skills (whether you are them, know them or buy them).
  • Existing email provider (only because this is tied up with some other services I use). You’ll have to set something new up and point the DNS records.
  • Any form of guarantee, warranty, liability etc ad infinitum

Some immediate opportunities to improve the site:

  1. Integration with social media
  2. Short story apps for tablet and phone
  3. Build on the existing platform, or migrate data to another platform
  4. Anything else you can think of!

I’m interested! What now?

  • Send us your proposal, in any format you like to press [at]
    • In an ideal world, we’d like to see someone who can offer ongoing community management, and the technical investment to bring the site up to scratch.
    • The closing date for applications is 31 May 2013
  • Post  questions in the comments below, as we won’t be providing feedback on the proposals or replying to individual questions by email (too little time, sorry).

Thanks and good luck!

Stats for
Stats for


  1. 01) What is the current cost per annum of the VPS server you would be looking to transfer the billing for?
    02) What is the status of the contract with that provider? (ie how long to run present contract, exit criteria etc.)
    03) Currently how much space does the site and the story content take up? and what has the growth been like over the life of the site?
    04) You mention C# and SQL Server, is the story content stored within the SQL Server DB.

    1. EasySpace cost is:
      £29.61 p/month (inluding VPS, backups and RDP)

      There is no long-term contract with EasySpace. Reading the FAQs I think you can cancel with six weeks notice, but they make it a little unclear.

      Current VPS spec:
      RAM: 640 MB
      HDD: 10 GB

      There’s usually plenty of resources, but this runs slowly anyway. I don’t recommend EasySpace but haven’t had the time to move the site elsewhere.

      Database is 180MB + 6MB of logs
      Total site files are: 80 MB
      Of which ~60MB are user profile photos and generated PDFs when people download stories (this was a decision to use hard disk space in instead of processor power for repeat generation of the same PDFs)

      Overall, resources are light as the stories are text based (unlike hosting Youtube or Flickr!)

      The story content is stored in SQL (with the exception of the generated PDFs mentioned above)

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